By the early twentieth century, Eau Claire’s lumber boom had passed, but James Barber, president of the Northwestern Lumber Company, remained prosperous by adapting to changing circumstances. When timber supplies dwindled in the 1890s, Barber converted his company’s logging railway into a passenger line, sold cutover land to farmers, and invested in box-making and other wood products enterprises. These actions kept Northwestern afloat, and Barber remained one of Eau Claire’s wealthiest men. Jones of Minneapolis designed this fashionable Tudor Revival house, which occupies a one-acre lot. The house has a brick first story, stucco and half-timbering on the second story, and paneled chimneys. The complex, steeply pitched roof has three front-facing gables. The smallest is a dormer lighting an attic ballroom, the largest crowns a bedroom and library wing, and the third shelters the front entrance with its leaded-glass transom and sidelights. All three gables bear heavy pendants and bargeboards, and those of the entrance porch, carved with a leaf-and-fruit motif, are especially beautiful. A one-and-a-half-story wing links the house to a breezeway and an imposing front-gabled carriage house. The house’s finely crafted interior befitted someone of Barber’s wealth and status. Opulent finishes include oak wainscoting in the foyer and living room, Tiffany lamps in the oval dining room, and an Italian marble fireplace in the library.
You are here
James Barber House
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.